HYDERABAD: It was midday and the mercury had reached the 40 degree Celsius mark. But, this didn’t dampen the spirits of over 200 senior citizens. Most of them were chronic patients and suffering from various kinds of ailments. However, all of them shared a common contempt for Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) in the capital.
On Wednesday, members of All Pensioners and Retired Persons Association (APRPA) laid siege to the CGHS central dispensary at Begumpet demanding fair and humane treatment. “All CGHS empanelled corporate hospitals are denying admissions to us. We are forced to visit four different clinics for diagnostic tests and are ill-treated,” they protested.
During the protests, a retired Survey of India employee M. R. Chavhan was struggling to stand or talk coherently, even as bystanders helped him to sit and drink water. Despite being unwell, he was threatening to throw away a tablet strip issued by CGHS dispensary.
“Instead of a 5 mg tablet they gave me a 50 mg tablet and now my head is reeling. I am unable to stand or talk properly. On other occasions, they issue B-complex tablets in lieu of prescribed drugs. Since, majority of pensioners do not have knowledge about drugs, they take advantage,” he says.
No mandatory tests
Pensioners said that CGHS doctors do not conduct basic mandatory tests like checking blood pressure. “CGHS Hyderabad has recently asked private hospitals to prescribe cheap drugs to pensioners covered in the scheme. Private hospitals are denying admissions to us on the grounds of non-availability of beds,” they said.